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Volkswagen is Considering Releasing a Truck or Van Into the US

April 23, 2015

For a while now Volkswagen has been discussing the possibility of launching a truck or a small commercial van in the United States. They know that there is available market share for the idea and that a full-sized truck could do well in the US, but still haven’t decided for sure if they are going to launch either vehicle. According to VW head of light commercial vehicles, Eckhard Scholz, the company is looking intently at both a pickup truck and a commercial van. It’s a move that makes sense for Volkswagen

volkswagen amarok

Truck Experience

It’s not like it would be Volkswagen’s first time selling a truck or creating one for that matter. The automaker already produces a mid-sized pickup truck known as the Amarok outside of the United States. It’s sold heavily in South American, Europe, Australia and even Russia. The truck has recently experienced a drop in sales because of poor economic conditions in some of the countries its sold in, and releasing a new product into the growing US market would be a good opportunity to make up for some of those lost sales elsewhere.

Expanding its Offerings

In order to increase its sales in the United States Volkswagen has been broadening its offerings in the country. They are currently working on an SUV to offer in the United States and the idea to bring in a truck or van goes well with their goal of expanding the brand further. The automaker does not plan to bring the Amarok into the US though because they say it’s too small for American tastes. Instead a larger truck would be developed to compete with the likes of Dodge, Chrysler, Ford and Toyota in the full-sized truck market.

Considering the Chattanooga Plant

It’s likely that Volkswagen would consider using the Chattanooga plant to produce full-sized pickups for the United States in order to avoid the hefty tariff such trucks would experience if produced in the current plants in Europe and Argentina used for the Amarok. The tariff is known as the “Chicken Tax” and affects any foreign trucks imported into the United States.

There’s still doubt that many US buyers will go for a foreign truck over one of the big three providers, but Toyota is proof that it can be done and that not every buyer is as committed as you would think. If Volkswagen does manage to release a top quality full-sized pickup in the United States plenty of VW fans will consider the vehicle and others will consider it especially if the vehicle has something special to offer. Volkswagen dealers are just itching to get their hands on some trucks to sell, and this would be a big opportunity for everyone.

 

Why Resale Value is So Important When Buying a New Car

April 13, 2015

According to the folks at Kelly Blue Book, depreciation will cost a car owner more than any maintenance, gas, repairs or anything else during the first five years of ownership. For that reason it makes a lot of sense to look out for vehicles with a higher resale value. By going for the cars that are going to maintain a high portion of their value you can get more out of your investment when you decide to move on to something newer. For those who are looking to make the most of their investments buying one of these cars makes a lot of sense.

2015 volkswagen jetta

To give you an idea of just how much of an effect resale value has on your wallet imagine that you were to pick up a Beetle for $20,000 and after five years you sold it for half its value or 50%. You would have received $10,000 and essentially lost $10,000 from what you spent originally. Now imagine that you picked up a Chevy Impala for that same $20,000. Only this time you only managed a 40% resale value leaving you with $8,000 at the end of five years. While you paid the same for both vehicles initially, the Impala actually cost you $2,000 more just because of its depreciation. That means you could have spent another $2,000 on fancy options for the other vehicle and you would have spent the same as you did with the Impala. The difference becomes even greater when considering more expensive cars so keep a close eye on resale value figures.

High Resale Means Reliability

Most of the time when a car has a high resale value it means that its highly reliable. Cars like the Volkswagen Jetta are known for continuing to run well past 100,000 miles, and that’s who so many people are willing to pay top dollar for these vehicles off the used car lot. What this means for you as a new car buyer is that with a Jetta, or a car like it, you’ll be able to get more of your money back in the end, and you probably won’t spend much on repairs and maintenance during those first five years either. Even if you don’t plan on reselling the Jetta ever it still makes sense to buy for resale value because the car is more likely to last over time.

Consider Unusual Colors

A good tip to help improve your resale value later on is to go with an unusual color instead of opting for a black, white or gray model. While dealerships will tell you that trade-in values will be lower for such a vehicle, if you plan on selling the car on your own you’re likely to see as higher price later on with a less ordinary color according to a recent study performed by iSeeCars.com. This could be because only about 1 in 20 cars are actually colorful. They are more scarce and that results in higher prices when it comes time to sell. Another real benefit of picking up a colorful car is that most auto dealerships will work with you on the price more, since it’s going to be more difficult for them to sell than the standard back or white.

If you are willing to shop around for a bit, and you don’t have a problem being flexible when choosing a vehicle you can save yourself a lot of money by researching resale values before making a purchase. Instead of focusing on things like fuel efficiency buy the car that will really save you money and worry about resale value figures first and foremost.

Volkswagen Shows off their Hybrid Beetle Concept

April 9, 2015

Volkswagen put together an impressive display centered around a set of Volkswagen Beetles for the 2015 New York International Auto Show. Even though there were several different Beetles on display, the most exciting was the VW Beetle Hybrid Concept. It was designed quickly and built to show off what a hybrid gas-electric Beetle would be like to drive around. AutoExpress had the privilege of driving the Beetle around for an extended period and they had nothing but good things to say about the car.

2014 volkswagen beetle

Making the Concept

In order to put together the concept car Volkswagen took the powertrain from the Jetta Hybrid and stuck it into a standard Beetle. When they were putting all the pieces together they gave the vehicle a DSG transmission instead of the CVT that’s used in so many other hybrid vehicles. That change gave the Beetle more spunk and made it a whole lot more enjoyable to drive around.

Other than all of the hybrid powertrain parts the hybrid Beetle was pretty much a standard Beetle in appearances and function. It was surprisingly powerful with plenty of oomph during acceleration thanks to the added torque from the electric motor, but other than that you wouldn’t know you were driving a hybrid at all.

About the Concept Car

The little Beetle was packed with a 1.4 liter gasoline engine and put out a total of 168 HP and 185 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 in around 7.9 seconds, which isn’t sports car quick, but it’s fast enough to be enjoyable to drive. The car also offers a 30 mile electric-only range for those close trips around town.

The Other Beetles

On top of the hybrid Beetle Volkswagen came prepared with a variety of other fun Beetles as well. They showed off a Denim convertible, a Sporty R-line model with unique trim and 20 inch wheels. The car was equipped with a unique Onyx and pearl exterior  and a black and yellow interior. Volkswagen wasn’t afraid to use uncharacteristic paint schemes on their Beetles either. There was a Habanero orange Beetle with a custom dash designed to look like a surfboard, and a Fuchsia Beetle with a pink interior for all the girly girls at the show.

Volkswagen’s display was a lot of fun and the Beetle Hybrid showed a lot of promise. It’s likely that Volkswagen will release a hybrid version of their most iconic car in the near future, and it seems like it will actually be quite a bit of fun to drive as well.

 

The Real Benefits of a Diesel Car

March 31, 2015

Diesel vehicles were known as being smelly, slow and not that great for decades. Luckily most diesels arent’ like that today, and you can get some really awesome cars that run on diesel and are relatively clean while packing a major punch. The new technology that’s gone into these modern vehicles is impressive, and can make a major difference. Before you overlook a diesel in favor of a gasoline-powered vehicle again, take a moment and learn the real benefits, you may just realize that you were making a major mistake.

VW TDI

Massive Highway Range

One major benefit that clean diesel vehicles such as the Passat TDI have to offer is a massive range, especially for highway driving. It’s not unheard of for a smaller highway-bound sedan running on diesel to travel more than 800 miles on a single fill up. That’s because efficiency levels are often above 40 MPG on the highway. The major benefits that are offered by driving on the highway are mostly lost in trips around town. For example, the Passat gets a very impressive 46 MPG on the highway, but drops down to 29 MPG in the city. While that isn’t low for a vehicle of its size, it’s not much higher than a gasoline alternative either.

If you frequently take long trips it would make sense to use a clean diesel vehicle to travel with. It would save you fuel and allow you to stop less frequently as well. Both are welcome benefits that most travellers would

Turbo and Torque Driven

TDI Clean Diesel vehicles come with an impressive combination of high torque levels and turbo-charged power that offers fast acceleration and a potent feel when you step on the pedal, even with vehicles that don’t have that much power. This is very useful in SUVs and trucks that are going to be used for hauling purposes. It’s also useful in sporty cars for providing that thrilling feeling of power that draws drivers in and keeps them excited each time they go for a ride.

Lower CO2 Emissions

The final benefit may not be high on your list of concerns, but it s nice  now that you aren’t damaging the environment more by utilizing a diesel vehicle. A clean diesel TDI vehicle produces around 12 percent fewer CO2 emissions than a gasoline vehicle does. This helps reduce your impact on global warming and makes the car, truck or SUV a bit more friendly to the environment.

These benefits are probably more than you first expected, and they add a lot of value and appeal to diesel models like the Golf TDI. Keep the list in mind next time you go shopping and you may convince yourself to pick up a diesel vehicle next.

Volkswagen to Make a New Model above the Passat

March 26, 2015

Volkswagen is working on a new plus-sized sedan that will slot in above the Passat but below the now mostly discontinued Phaeton. VW is planning to try and grow the large sedan market in both the US and in China with the new offering. Hopefully it performs better than the Phaeton did, otherwise VW will be counting their losses once again. There is no official word that the car is going to be produced, but if it does enter production it isn’t likely to do so for a few years still.

2015-Volkswagen-Passat

A Sporty Look

There’s no word whether it’s going to be built on top of the Audi MLB or VW MQB platform, but the new sedan will be sportier and sleeker than either the Phaeton or the Passat. It will be equipped with high power components and sporty features to match. The car’s likely to come in both a sedan and hatchback configuration as well.

Engine Options

There are likely to be a couple different engine options to choose from for owners of the vehicle. At the top level of the power range it’s possible that 300 or 272 HP V6 engine will be used. Another power option is likely to be a four-cylinder turbocharged engine. Either engine that’s chosen is going to rely on a modern dual transmission setup. The engine will likely offer both two and all-wheel drive giving buyers the choice of what they want. The car’s projected price is around $36,000 which puts the vehicle at the bottom of the premium range and would put it up against entry level premiums such as offerings from Audi.

VW experts believe that releasing this type of car makes sense for the time, and that it will catch on. If the car does get the go ahead it’s likely to be released in 2017 and would offer a new option for customers looking for something larger than the impala and a bit more exciting to drive around without being as massive as the phaeton.

More Exciting Feel

The improved engine options and sporty physique will help to infuse some excitement into the VW lineup, especially at the full-size edge. While the Passat is a very reliable vehicle it isn’t all that exciting. This new option should give thrill seekers a bit more of what they are after and consequently draw in additional customers.

 

The Improvements that Come with the 2015 Passat Limited Trim

March 17, 2015

Volkswagen recently announced more information about the Limited version of the 2015 Passat included what it’s going to be priced at. The new upper-class Passat variant comes in at a reasonable $23,995, just a few thousand over the base model. For that added price you get a bunch of added features and styling improvements that aren’t present on the lower models.

2015 vw passat limited

What you Get with the Trim

The first thing that people want to know about the Limited model is what you get extra for the additional money. The media system of the vehicle is highly upgraded. It comes with a touchscreen display and an eight speaker stereo system. It also has satellite radio built into it for those who want more channels to choose from. The car has an improved look, both inside and out. On the outside there are 17 inch aluminum wheels and a set of fog lights that you won’t see on the base model. The car is accented by chrome window surrounds as well.

Once you climb inside the cabin you’ll notice a leather-like material covering the seats. The steering wheel as well as the shifter and parking brake are all wrapped in leather as well for a more classy look that enhances comfort. The seats of the vehicle have all been improved for more comfort as well. The driver’s seat is eight-way adjustable and comes with power lumbar support for comfort during extended drives.

A Powerful Drivetrain

The Passat comes with a highly efficient four-cylinder engine, but it’s turbocharged for a surprising level of power that will give you a satisfyingly quick level of acceleration. The engine has a 1.8 liter displacement and is tied to Volkswagen’s smooth six speed automatic transmission for a high level of efficiency. The car has an EPA rating of 24 MPG in town and 36 on the highway.

Building on What Works

The Passat is well-known for having plenty of seating room and being a comfortable vehicle for the whole family. That aspect of the vehicle remains the same in the upper level trim packages as well and not only is the Limited Passat still very spacious, but it also has more comfortable seats making it even more enjoyable to ride around in.

The enhanced Passat trim package comes with enough new features to make the price worthwhile, and it’s designed to bring a touch of luxury to a family class vehicle. It’s enjoyable to drive, and will make you love being a Passat owner even more.

 

Volkswagen Passat Receives Car of the Year at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

March 4, 2015

Volkswagen is having a good year so far for motor vehicles and they’ve taken a major award in the United States and now over in Europe for two of their vehicles. The VW Golf managed to win the 2015 North American Car of the Year award at the Detroit North American International Auto Show, and now the Passat has snagged the Car of the Year award from the Geneva Motor Show, strengthening the VW name even more.

2015 volkswagen passat

How the Car was Chosen

An extensive system was used to judge the different vehicles being considered. There were seven different cars being considered for the award. Each of these cars was tested by all of the 58 judges that made the final decision. The judges are from among 22 different countries from around the world, and they were charged with making a decision based and their experiences with the vehicle as well as what they know about each. The Passat managed to best cars like the Ford Mondeo, the BMW 2 Series and the Mercedes C-Class to take the top spot.

The Positives

According to the journalists who looked at the Passat it has several major innovations that set it apart from some of the other vehicles considered. The spacious interior offers comfortable seating area for everyone and is made from quality materials. The overall quality of the vehicle is very high when compared to some of the other options out on the market The Passat also comes with some useful features that aren’t seen on other vehicles like the Trailer Assist. Couple all those improvements with the enhanced safety of the vehicle and you get a pretty impressive package overall.

A Winning Tradition

Over the past six years Volkswagen has managed to win the top title on three different occasions. It’s through achievements like these that VW shows their commitment to making quality vehicles and that should inspire confidence in Volkswagen owners a bit more.

Even though it’s still early in 2015 it’s easy to see that this is going to be a big year for Volkswagen. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them set a few sales records this year. While the Geneva Motor Show has already started for journalists and industry experts, the public show doesn’t begin until March 5th and runs all the way through the 15th if you want a chance to see some of these revolutionary new vehicles in person.

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